There is a video making the rounds on the Internet lately and I want to show it to you because it illustrates how having a clear vision can help you and your company.
The year is 1997 and Apple Computers has just bought Next, the company that Steve Jobs founded after he was thrown out of Apple. Of course Jobs also founded Apple together with Steve Wozniak so for him it must have been surreal to finally be back.
At the end of the developer conference of that year he took to the stage in his aw-shucks-just-comin-bye mode and answered questions from the audience. Keep in mind this was before he took the helm as the interims CEO — Gil Amelio was still in charge and Jobs merely consulted for the management. Have a look at this:
Apple WWDC ’97 Steve Jobs Closing Keynote
Now, for sure hindsight is 20/20 as we all know how these ideas played out. Most of them were correct, some weren’t (for example he reversed his stance on the clone makers just half a year later). But remember that at the time what he said was unheard of for many people. Not for all, of course, and he bragged about how he is using network technology already but this was a time when computers still had floppy drives and serial modems, if any.
So it’s fascinating to look back at what the original vision was. But it’s even more fascinating to look back and see how he made Apple execute on his vision.